Tag Archives: Glasgow

Love Substitutes

This week we interviewed the fabulous Kirsty Logan about her book ‘The Rental Heart’, her experiences being a queer author writing queer stories, and what the road to success looks like, sharing some top-tips for early-career publishing!

Kirsty Logan Mirror

Photo cedit: Monkeytwizzle

Me: So Kirsty, you’re a published author, which is awesome!

Could you tell us a little bit about your journey to this point: how you got here, how you got started, and how you became successfully published?

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Do you wanna hear a queer love story?

Small child reading book

Tiny Me!

Doing a degree in Philosophy completely ruined my love of reading. As a child I devoured books, reading 2, 3, 4 at a time. The library was my happy place. And then aged 19 I trundled off to University, where my degree required me to read incessantly and in time I totally lost my passion. But as time passed I’ve decided to give it another go, and this is where this story starts for me.

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Where them girls at? [girls at? la da de da laaaaaa]

I have a confession. I am not very good at films. ‘Sunshine on Leith’ was my idea of a life changing film and so let’s be honest, high culture is just not my thing. When the LGBT short films at the Glasgow Film Theatre came into my field of vision I was torn: I will basically go and see/do/dance at anything remotely queer, but short films sounded all a bit high-brow. What could I lose?

The Glasgow Film Theatre is super cute tucked away just up Sauchiehall Street and well worth a visit if you’ve not been. Big comfy seats, a cute (if somewhat compact) bar upstairs, but I would recommend taking your own snacks. It was Sunday night, which I personally think is the perfect night for peanuts and movies, but apparently Glasgow disagreed. The screen was very quiet, like  handful of people quiet. And men in abundance. Queer women: where are you?

The films were all finalists from the Iris Prize – an LGBT film festival in Cardiff (see I’m learning). As a total rubbish film-goer I was amazed at just how much could be conveyed in ten to fifteen minutes. And, as someone with quite a short attention span and a vivid imagination for filling in the gaps in quite sparse storylines – I loved it!

I won’t lament over all the details of the films, but as a quick rundown. A beautiful coming-of-age story about a young romance between two young disabled men in ‘For Dorian’; a heart-achingly personal story from Gustavo from San Francisco about his night-time transitions into Donna, and his inspiration: ‘My mother’; a surreal film, including an interpretive dance called ‘Gorilla’ about two young men defining their budding new relationship; and ‘Boys Village’ about the ghost of a child, trapped in time, watching the camp in which he died in destroyed by 21st century thugs as he sought out his first kiss across the boundary of life and death.

But it was ‘Burger’ that really struck me. Set in a chippie at kicking out time, ‘Burger’ provided a snapshot into the lives of three groups of friends. ‘Burger’ was incidentally queer, as opposed to explicitly so, but resonated as I am a habitual eavesdropper and often end up in a chip shop at the end of a night out. The setting reminded me slightly of Canal Street, and the combination of bright lights, dance-dishevelled clothes, and make-up coloured tears struck a chord with me – definitely worth a watch if you get the chance.

Iris Prize Tickets

I think it’s really important to support queer events, and I would go to the opening of a queer envelope. The positive portrayal of queer people in the media and mainstream culture is so few and far between that I want to support it when there is opportunity. But there was just one itsy bitsy thing that annoyed me: there were no women who sleep with women represented. Let me repeat that for you: no women who sleep with women. Five short films, and…

not one single woman who sleeps with women

Queue a train ride back to Edinburgh with me planning all the films I was going to shoot which would only feature women who sleep with women… The fact is I might have a fab imagination, but I can barely take a holiday snap on a disposable camera without causing a disaster, let alone make a short-film. However, you dear reader, you are probably far more competent at life than I and so if you are indeed a budding film maker and think you might have a fab idea (or even a vague idea) for a short-film featuring women who sleep with women, then please (please) check out: http://www.irisprize.org/submissions-guidelines/

 

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Glasgow Pride: our top picks!

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Pride is always a fabulous day! Here are hots and nots from Glasgow Pride 2013

The top 5 hot topics of this Pride:

1. Equal Marriage: the discussion started almost two years ago now, yet it just hasn’t happened! Hurry up Mr. Salmond….

2. Russia: in light of new laws and various state endorsed (or at least ignored) atrocities Russia is featured on a number of placards to remind us that our queer struggle stretches across the world.

3. Independence: the all-round hot topic in Scotland. Both Yes Scotland and Better Together made their appearance, each presenting brighter futures for queers in Scotland.

4. Religion: whether it’s religions saying that they will accept queer members of the faith, or queers protesting religious intolerance: everyone has something to say about it!

5. Feminism: there were lots more placards displaying feminist messages this year – yay!

The top 5 ‘not for next years’:

1. Charity stalls:  I cannot see you for all the beer! In 2012 the charity stalls were right along the edge of the stage. There were dancing folk literally falling into charitable activities, and this is what I like. Next year, don’t hide them!

2. Parade: Pride is a protest. It’s here to remind everyone what we’re fighting for. Don’t call it a parade, because that makes people think of balloons and carnival queens… And makes others question the point. Which leads me onto another point…

3. Silence: or more accurately the sound of people chatting amongst themselves and I like to imagine wondering why they’re going on a really long, slow walk. The point of Pride is to be big, brave, loud: sending the clear message we’re here, we’re queer and we will not live in fear. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for poignant silences to remember those who have been victims of hate crime. But seriously the majority of the march was chitter chatter. Get your chant on!

4. Pervs: hi there I’m a person, I have thoughts and feelings and everything! You’re gawping. At my ass. No seriously, your mouth is open. Leave me alone. Now, my fellow queers, if you like a woman go up and chat to her, don’t just creep from a distance, it makes everyone really uncomfortable.

5. Queens of Pop in AXM: just gross.

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THE GAY AGENDA IS PROUD: CAITY

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

My name is Caity, or Caitlyn if you met me online before in the real world. I’m 22 in 2013 and I was born and raised predominantly in Australia, but am not very good at sitting still.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I got involved as I’m an avid blogger and love communicating with people through this medium. I thought my sexuality would be a new angle for my blogging, as my primary blog is about law and politics over at Stateless Diplomat. Plus, I hope I can add these angles in here.

What do you write about?

Law, politics and bisexuality. All of these are central to me 🙂

What do you do in real life?

I’m studying a joint honours MA in Law and International Relations, drinking f**k loads of tea and travelling.

Why is Pride important to you?

Pride as in the idea, not the event, is important to me because as someone whose sexuality can be easily erased or halved it’s something that keeps me sane, and gives me a feeling of belonging with the whole proud community. My pride keeps me secure in who I am, and is something I can share with my LGBT+ friends in a kind of mutually-refueling sort of way. I also think Pride as a protest is still hugely important to our social development, and a great experience for those who love it.

I’ve never been to a Pride parade, as I’m not one for loud street events. They scare me a little.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

Purple and Proud

What’s your Pride soundtrack?

Spice up your Life – The Spice Girls

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the little toe I have out of the closet, and all the anxiety and fear I’ve overcome to get the support I have. I’m proud of the UK moving forward on equality, and of Scotland leading the way.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Rhianna

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride, we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

Hi Cilla, my name’s Rhianna, I’m 25 and I’m originally from Ely but I live in Glasgow

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I am very opinionated. I think we need more outlets to discuss issues for queer women in the UK

What do you write about?

Queer issues, trans* issues and books!

Photo by John: http://bit.ly/17ByjOy

Photo by John: http://bit.ly/17ByjOy

What do you do in real life?

I’m about to start an MRes in Equality and Human Rights, I work in a museum and I read a lot of books.

Why is Pride important to you?

It’s a really good platform for campaigning on the current issues for queer and LGBT people and you feel part of a community out in the street. You know you can hold hands with your girlfriend and won’t get shouted at for it.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

The people are the best bit. Everyone’s so happy to be out regardless of the weather or whatever else might be going on. The worst bit is all the commercialisation. All the pubs, clubs and the like that turn up to promote their drink prices and don’t give a shit about the protest part. Pride isn’t about pubs.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

Rainbow clothes! I don’t fit in for many reasons – one of those is my fashion sense or lack thereof – and it’s nice to not be judged for wearing rainbow flares. Well not too judged.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

“Gender Extender”. Actually it would probably say “Fuck gender binaries”.

fuck gender norms and barriers

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Androgyny – Garbage

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

The all merge into one actually. Probably Pride Glasgow a couple of years ago. I can’t remember what I was getting a petition signed for but I got a few hundred signatures and talked to loads of people. It was great.

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of us. I’m proud that we fight for our rights and how we fight for them. We are creative campaigners: we march, we blog, we have catchy chants, historically we’ve staged die ins and kiss ins. We are a movement changing the world one chant at a time.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Denise

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride, we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

Hi, I’m Denise *Waves* I’m almost 25 and I come from Glasgow.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I wanted to get involved as I feel that sometimes women in the Queer community have less of a voice than we should have (unfortunately), and I liked the idea to have a small chance to do something about that. Any opportunity to work with strong and inspirational women is fabulous in my opinion anyway.

What do you write about?

Anything that bothers me! I like having the opportunity to reflect on current affairs and how queer women are actually affected by certain issues. I’m also going to be writing some pieces for the music section of the website. There will be some reviews, fun articles and maybe even some interviews. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about what you’d like to see in this section, please comment and let me know!

Pride t-shirt

What do you do in real life?

In real life, I’m currently studying for a PhD in chemistry. I also run the LGBT society at Strathclyde university.

Why is Pride important to you?

Pride is important because it shows that the LGBT community is strong and united. Although things are becoming much better for LGBT people in our country, we can still face a lot of adversity in our daily lives. Pride shows that we aren’t afraid to celebrate who we are, and that we will stand together and never stop fighting for equal rights, no matter what is thrown at us. It’s also fantastic for newly out people to feel supported and part of a large community of people who are just like them. Coming out can be a scary and lonely experience, so it’s important for people to feel like they are not alone.

Samba

What is your best and worst part of pride?

The best part is the general atmosphere. Everyone is happy and proud, you have an awesome day with your friends no matter what the weather is doing and I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the people who stand on the streets and watch the parades! The worst part is probably the queues in bars afterwards – both to get a drink and to go to the toilet!

What is your must-have item for Pride?

I think my must-have item is probably a pride flag! I found 3 in my cupboard when I moved house recently.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

Hmm I dunno, “Cover me in chocolate and feed me to the lesbians!” I don’t know if my girlfriend would approve of that one though! If I was going to make a serious one it would probably be something about the horrendous situation in Russia.

What’s your Pride soundtrack?

Good Question! There’s not any music that I’m particularly “into” that I associate with pride. Probably the sort of really cheesy music they tend to have in clubs; songs like “I am what I am” always remind me of Pride, but it’s not really what I’d choose to listen to.

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

In 2010 I went to Brighton Pride and it was actually the first Pride I’d ever been to. It was amazing and I’d really love to go back there at some point.

Denise Brighton

What are you proud of?

I’m proud of the LGBT society and the things we have achieved since 2011. It can be hard at times but it does make me feel really proud when a student thanks you and tells you that you have made a difference to their university experience. I am also proud of having a really amazing and supportive network of friends and family.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Hazel

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride, we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

Hi, I’m Hazel, I’m 23 and I’m originally from London, although I now live in Edinburgh.

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I really admire some of the fabulous blogs out there aimed at queer women like The Most Cake, Autostraddle, Fuck Yeah Dykes and Diva. They inspired me to want to be part of the amazing online queer community which has bloomed over the last few years!

What do you write about?

I do a bit of everything! But mainly I write about current affairs, collate and I edit.

What do you do in real life?

I currently work in inclusive education at the University of Edinburgh.

Mug cinema 2

Why is Pride important to you?

I have always been keen for Pride. I remember my first ever Pride in London, I met up with a friend beforehand and we stood at the side of the road and watched the march pass by. Although I only watched that year I felt part of a  vibrant community, had a wonderful day, and couldn’t wait to be a part of the march at my next pride. At that time I didn’t really understand the historical significance of Pride, but I knew it was about celebrating a community I could be part of, and that was good enough. It’s been many years now since my first pride, and I have learned a ton about queer history and have given a few talk on it. It is still important to me as an experience that can bring queer people together to celebrate our community, but it’s also important as a protest to the homo-, trans*- and bi- phobias that we experience every day.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

I love Pride for the space it gives queer communities to celebrate ourselves! It’s always been a happy day for me. The worst however, is the bit in between the march and the nightlife where there is not a lot to do, but no real point in going home.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

A big bottle of water. I am a big fan of chanting in the march, and I always shout myself hoarse.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

I have made a lot of placards, and it’s always tough to think of slogans! But I like something simple like ‘love is love’.

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

Although I’ve been to lots of prides up and down the country, my favourite Pride is still London Pride. It was my first ever Pride, and I try and make sure I’m in town whenever it is.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Julie

This week, in the lead up to Glasgow Pride we decided to interview some of our writers to find out what Pride means to them!

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

I’m Julie, soon to be 27, from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire.

Why did you get involved in the Gay Agenda?

I love writing and think it’s a great opportunity to share ideas and get creative with lots of other really interesting, diverse women.

What do you write about?

I plan to write comment pieces on LGBT+ rights, current affairs and anything else that gets me thinking. I also enjoy writing a good open letter.

What do you do in real life?

I work in a university students’ association, supporting elected officers with all aspects of student representation.

Why is Pride important to you?

For me, Pride is still, first and foremost, a protest. It’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come but also to highlight that we’ve a long way still to go. Until LGBT+ people are not only equal in the eyes of the law but also of society, both in the UK but worldwide, Pride is still necessary as a form of political protest.

What is your best and worst part of pride?

The best part of Pride for me is seeing everyone coming together and celebrating how proud they are to be themselves; whatever that may be. The worst part is the vibe I get that Pride belongs to those who hang around on the scene every week. Pride belongs to everyone and, whether you go for the protest, the party or a bit of both, every single person should feel like they are included and belong there.

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

The biggest rainbow flag I can find!

Pride parachute

This is definitely big enough.

Picture by lewishamdreamer: http://bit.ly/15DVbRV

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

This year I’ll be carrying a Russian flag along with my rainbow one instead of a placard. Last year Moscow banned Pride for 100 years and things are pretty grim for LGBT Russians right now so I want to acknowledge that. If anyone can think of a catchy slogan for my flag, let me know!

At night-time I might chill out a bit and go for the tried and tested “I’m here, I’m queer, who’s buying me a beer?”

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

Same Love by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

Funnily enough, I’ve only been to Pride once before; also in Glasgow. I always seem to be out the country when it’s on. That was a few years ago and I just walked around taking everything in and bagged freebies from the stalls, but this year I hope to get more involved with everything that’s going on.

What are you proud of?

First and foremost I am proud of who I am. Gay/lesbian/queer, whatever you want to call it, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wish my 13-year-old self could see me now! This really comes down to having amazing family and friends who have always supported me, so I’m super proud of all of them too.

I am also proud to do my bit to stand up against inequality and injustice wherever I find it. Last year I wrote an open letter to a couple who delivered a petition against equal marriage to Downing Street and, thanks to a few celebrity re-tweets (including Stephen Fry!), it was read over 55,000 times in a week. And just last week I noticed that the International Olympic Committee’s social media guidelines said that “that’s so gay” was acceptable language. I challenged them about it on Twitter, got lots of LGBT groups involved, and within four hours they changed their policy. These are just two small actions, but I believe that if everyone stands up for what they believe in rather than waiting for someone else to do it, we can all change the world.

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The Gay Agenda is Proud: Sarah

What’s your name, age and where do you come from?

My name is Sarah, I’m 24 soon to turn 25 and I’m half French half English.

Why did you get involved in The Gay Agenda?

I got involved in The Gay Agenda because I was taken in by the idea of putting forward LGBT women-focused topics without necessarily having to be heavily involved in things like politics. I think The Gay Agenda is a fab way to share everyday thoughts and ideas with women that I more closely identify with.

What do you write about?

I’m in charge of the style & beauty column, there’ll be posts on fashion, tried & tested beauty products, lifestyle chats etc.

What do you do in real life?

In real life I’m a spa and beauty therapist.

Gay OK

Photo by Charlotte Bakken: http://bit.ly/13Ysh8M

Why is Pride important to you?

Ironically pride wasn’t much of a big deal for me until last year. In actual fact I’d never attended one and wasn’t bothered about doing so, I’m even slightly ashamed to say that given the chance to go I would’ve most likely said no because the whole concept cringed me out slightly. But then I met my current girlfriend who loved going -more for the meeting up with mates and the drinks part to be fair but still- she took me along and it was actually a really good laugh! The atmosphere with the music and all the colours is like a mini rio carnival and it wasn’t half as ‘tacky’ ad I thought it’d be! Following on from that I went all out -no pun intended- and went on to do a video for Scotland’s equal marriage campaign. I guess as I get older I appreciate the efforts and steps necessary for the welfare and rights of LGBT people, of which I belong to, so I can’t leave everyone else to do all the work for me!

What is your best and worst part of pride? 

The worst part of pride is probably the sometimes questionable taste in fancy dress. The best part is definitely the sense of belonging and unity and of purse the night out!

What’s your must-have item for Pride?

My must have item for pride would be those coloured bead necklaces.

If you had a placard for Pride what would it say?

If I had a placard for pride it would say GAY IS OK!

What’s you Pride soundtrack?

My pride track would be a pitbull remix-don’t judge me 

Best ever Pride you’ve been to?

Well my best ever has to be my only one -edinburgh- but I’m positive that will get topped up soon!

What are you proud of?

What am I proud of? I’ve got a couple things that jump up at me: my spa & beauty therapy diploma and the things my girlfriend Leo’s achieved after some seriously rough times and finally on a more light hearted note I’m pretty pleased with myself that even while holidaying in St Pete, Russia, I managed to find the only gay club in the city! Complete with a dark room and their very own -absolutely stunning- drag queen. It’s completely irrelevant that it took about 30mins and 3 wrong addresses to get to it…

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